When I decided to run last year, I said this:
I've been thinking long and hard about this, and in particular reviewing the reasons that I decided not to run last year. They were very good reasons, and all of them still apply. When I eventually decided not to run last year, I made it clear that I made that decision because the reasons for me not to run outweighed the reasons for me to run.That calculus applies this year as well, and I have had just as hard of a decision this year. Only this time, the pendulum has swung the other way. There are more good reasons for me not to run then there are reasons for me to run. In particular, several people I respect are running for election or reelection, I feel very comfortable going back to my "CSM watcher" and "semi-neutral observer position"(1), and I feel strongly that I proved the point I wanted to prove by running. A CSM can be proactive without being a "war-time CSM", can openly talk to the players while still acting as a stake-holder in the development process. It's now proven. CSM8 has done it. In addition, as I said a few times during the election process, I felt like 2013 was going to be a critical year -- perhaps the critical year -- for EVE Online's success. That year is now past.
Does this mean I don't support the CSM process? Absolutely not, because I do! Does this mean that I feel the CSM is worthless? Absolutely not, because it definitely is not!
The CSM has much more active involvement in the development of the game than I thought we would have, in fact. The level of access is unprecedented! And this is Trebor telling us this based on what he's seen on three past CSMs! I'm glad -- really glad -- that I've served on CSM8. It was worth it! But it's also a lot of work. I wasn't exaggerating when I said CSM duties could consume every waking hour of every day if you let them. Future CSM members really are going to have to strike a balance that works for them. The stake-holder relationship that CSM8 has cemented with CCP is fantastic... but it means that expectations from players have no other setting than "high." Done right... done as the job should be done, I can't imagine any future CSM member subjecting themselves to it for three or four years at a stretch.
Anyway, those are all good reasons not to run. But I also have personal reasons of my own to want to take at least a year off. I feel like I've earned it. And if the calculus changes in 2015, who knows, maybe I'll try for CSM10.
So yeah, I'm sitting CSM9 out and we'll see how they do. Each CSM has built on the successes of the one before, so hopefully they will keep up the strong stake-holder relationship we've built and the lines of player communication open, particularly through Town Halls, crowd-sourcing, and at least one chronicler to document the week-by-week action.
'cause I'm still gonna be out here flying my spaceships and keeping an eye on things. ;-) Ripard Plays This Game(tm), and I'm not going anywhere.
So this also means that I'm in a pretty good position to endorse my favorite candidates. I definitely will not be shying away from that responsibility though picking the top few is gonna be tough! As I said, there's lots of good people already confirmed as running. If they fall on their face, I'll hold 'em accountable. And in the meantime, there's still three months of work left in this term, and I'm not going to shy away from that, either.
Good luck to CSM9!
(1) Or as mynnna joked to me, "Gonna go back to throwing rocks from outside?"